In a book entitled “Experiencing the Cross” by Henry Blackaby, the author discusses what it means for today’s Christians to be followers of Christ, what it means to take up your cross and follow him, what it means to be a disciple. Here is a partial list of what actions the author states a Christian must take in order to be a true disciple for Christ.
- Understanding and doing God’s will – Jesus said, “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me. (John 6:38). That’s the same reason he has come down from heaven to dwell in your life. Doing the Father’s will was and is a constant for Jesus. He knows the will of God for your life, and knows it thoroughly. And as you surrender the days and hours of your life to him, he’s living it out.
- Allowing Christ to express himself in and through you – When talking about the cross in a Christian’s life, the author is talking about releasing your life in such a way that Christ can express himself in you and through you.
- Let God have his way to accomplish His purpose in your life – Christ didn’t cling to his rights, but gave them over to the Father. So when Paul tells us to have this same that Christ had, he’s telling us to let God have his way to accomplish His purpose in your life, even to death on a cross – no matter what it costs.
- Being obedient to God – Christ, knowing the will of the Father, released his life to the Father’s will. He allowed his Father to work in every corner of his life, knowing that the result would be a great salvation for all humanity. In the same way, we can trust God to show His greatness through our obedience as well.
- Have trust and faith in God – We can trust God to show His greatness through our obedience as well. If you walk in right relationship to God, He will bring to completion His amazing will for your life, and nothing in your circumstances can ultimately thwart that.
- You must deny self and take up your cross – Every disciple of Christ needs to be made aware that in following Christ, there are certain things that come before other things. We so often want to skip the cross and go straight to Pentecost – to avoid the suffering and go straight to spiritual power and testimony and impact. But the cross must come first. Denying of self comes first. Before you can experience more of the wonders that come from following Him, you must first deny self and take up your cross.
- Release your life unconditionally to Jesus Christ, your Lord & Savior – the Christian is one who chooses to release his/her life unconditionally to Jesus’ right to be Lord. The Christian no longer lives to self, but unto Him who died for us and was raised again. The true Christian does what Jesus did.
- Become an ambassador for Christ – When we become an ambassador for Christ, our life becomes the resident presence of God pleading with those around us to be reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ, who is God’s provision for that reconciliation. Amen.